Summer’s almost over, and the kids are on their way back to school. You’ve enjoyed the laid-back beach days & soaking up the sun, but now that’s over. Along with back to school, comes all those after school activities, the days of playing it by ear, and doing what you want because there is no schedule are gone. So now that you’re entering the 9-10 month gauntlet of endless soccer practice, dance class, and class-mates birthday parties, it’s a great time to get your fitness routine going too.
One of the biggest excuses I get when I speak to folks about my coaching is they can’t find the time. In reality very few of us are ever that busy we can’t find 30-60 minutes to get in a good sweat. The problem seems to lie more on the motivation to get going. Our over crowded schedules between regular jobs, and our biggest job being a kick-butt parent leaves little free time, and most of us would prefer using that time to catch-up on the latest cable drama or getting some extra Z’s.
Here are a few tips to get your workout in, and making you feel better
1 – Schedule your workout time
You schedule Soccer Practice, you schedule your son’s best friends birthday party, but do you schedule time for yourself? Most of us don’t, and that’s part of our downfall. Find a time everyday that you can consistently be uninterrupted and get your workout in.
For my husband that’s getting up at 5 am which he actually prefers because everyone else is in bed he can get his workout in without the kids fighting and screaming (I know he’s a freak). For me I also try the morning, before I take the kids to school while they’re getting themselves ready. Although this isn’t always successful. Luckily I keep my own schedule. 🙂
For other it’s in the evening when the kids go to bed. Everyone is different, do what works for you, and be consistent with it. The other great thing about a schedule is it allows you to reschedule it in the event an unexpected play-date or PTG meeting comes up at the last minute. Take some time at the beginning of the week, and look at what’s on the calendar for the week. Slip your workout in where ever it works, but be careful not to overload your schedule, so you don’t miss pick-up after school 😉
2 – Make it Fun
One of the things people hate about working out is that it becomes a chore. What you mean doing 20 burpee hops and 60 pull-ups isn’t fun? Truth is while some people enjoy these type of extreme workouts, others exercise to relieve stress and get their bodies moving. Regardless what your preference make it something that is fun for you. If you make it fun you’re more likely to stick with it. So dance with Autumn to Country Heat, or take a walk down to the post office, whatever it is enjoy it.
3 – Spice it up
When you were in high school and college you pretty much followed the same routine for your workouts, Chest day on Monday, Legs on Tuesday, Back & Bi’s on Wednesday, and so on, and somewhere in there you tried to fit in cardio, but more likely skipped the tread-mill session. But I bet after a few weeks or maybe a few months you grew extremely bored with this routine, and either cut back to a few times a week to skipping it all together.
Just because you’re on a schedule doesn’t mean you have do the same thing all the time. Find workouts that challenge you, and mix it up. You’ll find that mixing it up will help you become fitter all around. You’ll continuously target all your muscles rather than a select few. If you ever wondered why you get sore after starting a new workout routine, even though you workout all the time, it’s precisely because you have grown accustomed to your routine and your body is trying to tell you to mix it up.
4 – Small Changes Lead to Big Results
You ever hear the saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Well that applies to fitness and nutrition as it does to everything else. If you change everything at once then you’ll likely fail almost as quickly. Humans a re creatures of habit, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change those habits. The best changes tend to be the ones that happen gradually. That’s why typically smokers who quit cold turkey don’t succeed.
Instead make one change every week. If you’re a soda drinker, start cutting back on the amount of soda you drink everyday, and replacing it with water, even if it’s naturally flavored water. By the end of the week your 7 can of soda habit will be down, and if you continue over a 3 week period it will be gone by day 21. Some other things you can try are replacing the sweetener in your coffee with Stevia extract, or changing from cream to milk, then to almond milk. Try the same with working out. If you can’t do one pull-up try doing it with a pull-up assist, or a chair, and every day add 2-3 more. At some point you’ll be doing them unassisted, and your back will look great.
The point is if you make slow gradual change over your journey you’re more likely to succeed in changing your fitness than if you go all in on day one. Try these tips, and come next summer vacation you’ll be rocking a body you’ve been wanting for a long time.